Interventional radiology is a specialty profession within the broader profession of radiology. An interventional radiologist typically works to direct small probes or catheters in minimally invasive procedures. These probes, normally equipped with imaging capabilities, can be directed through body passages, vascular tissue, and into and out of organs to provide the radiologist and specialist physicians with detailed diagnostic information.
Interventional radiologists are typically able to perform diagnostic functions through local anesthetics and outpatient care that once required invasive exploratory surgical procedures. The radiologist typically administers a local anesthetic to the patient, makes a small surgical incision and inserts the imaging catheter or probe. They then carefully direct the probe throughout the body to assist in diagnosing diseases, injuries and chronic conditions. The radiologist can direct a probe through arteries and veins of the vascular system and even examine the functioning of heart valves and lung activity. Additionally, they can examine aspects of the digestive and reproductive systems, as well as determine the presence and severity of muscle, ligament and tendon tears and sprains.
An interventional radiologist must complete medical school and complete a residency in radiology. They may complete their residency in interventional radiology or undergo a fellowship in this field; as with other physicians, medical licensure is needed. Interventional radiologists typically work in hospitals or dedicated small clinics that receive referrals from primary caregivers or specialists.
Interventional Radiologist Tasks
Perform minimally invasive procedures on patients.
Participate in hospital meetings and events.
Utilize electronic health record to track, update, and interpret patients' status.
Work with anesthesiologists and other team members.
Interpret medical images and explain diagnoses to patients and other physicians.